Tax Evasion in Lafayette, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of willfully failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Typically, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Lafayette, California is to try and make it look like they have less taxable income than they actually do. This can be done by failing to report income, concealing it, or fraudulently transferring property.
"Tax evasion" should not be confused with "tax avoidance." Tax evasion is the act of willfully attempting to get out of one's tax liability through illegal means. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and involves utilizing legal strategies (such as taking advantage of deductions and tax credits) to reduce one's legal tax liability. However, someone engaging in tax avoidance typically intends to pay whatever they end up owing, even as they try to reduce the amount they owe.
Penalties for Tax Evasion in Lafayette, California
Under federal and state law, including the laws of California, tax evasion is a very egregious crime.
The penalties for tax evasion in Lafayette can range anywhere from small penalties to huge penalties, along with prison sentences of several years.
In most cases, especially when the amount of taxes evaded is small, and it's a first offense, the punishment will usually be fairly mild. It will usually result in an order to pay the taxes the defendant owes, plus a small financial penalty. This is especially likely when it cannot be proven that the failure to pay taxes was intentional.
However, if it can be clearly proven that a person or corporation in Lafayette, California willfully attempted to conceal income or assets for the purpose of getting out of taxes, a court will probably throw the book at them, so to speak. This can mean jail sentences measured in years, and fines in the six or seven figures.
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A Lafayette, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
An attorney in Lafayette, California specializing in tax law can help you adhere with all the tax laws that apply to you, which makes it very unlikely that you'll ever be accused of tax evasion in the first place.
If the government actually charges you with tax evasion, it cannot be stressed enough that you need the assistance of a reputable Lafayette, California tax attorney. Assuming you're actually innocent, your tax lawyer can help you prepare a defense, and ensure that you have a good chance of being found not guilty. On top of that, they can make getting through such a difficult time much easier.